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1990 LS400 dies when I turn on heater

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Old 01-21-10, 07:18 PM   #1
avonbyrae
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Default 1990 LS400 dies when I turn on heater

My car has started dying if it is idling and I turn on the heater
When I first start the car and if the heater is on, it happens
If I am sitting at a stop light and I forget and turn it on it happens
and worse, if I am going around the corner and don't happen to have the gas pedal pushed and I forgot and turn the heater on, the car dies. I am learning not to turn it on, but it does get cold here.

Any suggestions
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Old 01-22-10, 12:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avonbyrae View Post
My car has started dying if it is idling and I turn on the heater
When I first start the car and if the heater is on, it happens
If I am sitting at a stop light and I forget and turn it on it happens
and worse, if I am going around the corner and don't happen to have the gas pedal pushed and I forgot and turn the heater on, the car dies. I am learning not to turn it on, but it does get cold here.

Any suggestions
Is the air-conditioner green light illuminated when you turn on the heat? It automatically gets kicked on with the windshield defroster button.

How does the car die? The more specific you can be, the better. Does the engine feel like it is expiring because of a load placed on it, or does it feel like it cuts out electrically?

Is there an improvement or a deterioration in symptoms when the engine warms up?
Colin
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Old 02-01-10, 05:46 PM   #3
avonbyrae
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No, the air conditioner light isn't on.

If I am sitting and idling and then turn it on the it does sound like the engine is having a load placed on it. It makes a strange noise and then the car dies

If I am starting it up, it makes the sound and it dies.
I can't describe the sound. But it is noticable and it is on the drivers side of the car.

It doesn't matter if the car is warm or not. I can be driving all day or just starting out in the morning.
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Old 02-01-10, 07:33 PM   #4
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To start the troubleshooting phase I suggest you get your battery and alternator tested.

Do all the lights on the dashboard come on before the car shut off? I had that problem twice before. First time the problem occurred all the lights on the dashboard came on right before the car died. Second time, when I had the heat on full blast all the lights on the dash came on again, I immediately turned the heat off and the lights went off on the dash. I switch my battery to an optima yellow top (which is 750CC), my alternator pass the test but came back w/ failed diodes. Knock on wood so far the car haven't shut off on me, I will need to change the alternator soon.

Last edited by lowKut; 02-01-10 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-01-10, 07:47 PM   #5
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Try putting the climate control in to Auto so the Auto light is lit up, then hit the A/C button to make the A/C come on, then hit the A/C button again so its off. At this point the Auto button should be off as well.

Just a hunch that your A/C compressor is seized. If its colder where you are, even with the climate control set to Auto, the A/C light won't come on. It will come on by itself if the system decides it needs it. By following the procedure above, it will stop the compressor from trying to kick in even if the system calls for A/C. Give it some gas if necessary while your doing this to stop the car from stalling when you hit the A/C button to turn it on then off.
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Old 02-06-10, 08:56 PM   #6
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Thank you to all for your suggestions! We will work them.
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Old 03-06-10, 09:46 PM   #7
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JimsGX - I tried your idea and it WORKED!! It hasn't died one time since!!! Whooo Hooo - thank you so much! Now if I could find out what causes my car to beep at me, all will be well!
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1990, 400, 90, ac, car, dies, engine, gas, heater, lexus, ls400, pedal, put, stalls, turned, turns

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